tv Inside Story Al Jazeera September 18, 2013 3:30am-4:01am EDT
african art in general. >> reporter: that is good news for artists like her. she will be taking her exhibition for london next month where he she thoepz find new how buyers. >> and you can keep up-to-date with all our stories and features on our website aljazerra.com. when you think back five years ago, why was it so hard for americans to understand that banking could go bad and fail? >> yeah, because we had seen housin housing crisises before. it would be somewhat more manageable. what we didn't know is that banks who were every leveraged, who were borrowing lots of money, were making derivative bets on the rise and fall of the housing market, loading up on these cdos and then not having the capitol reserve to actually pay for the mistakes that were made. so it really -- that accelerated the crisis in ways in which it became the biggest, since the great depression. >> abby why did lehman brothers fail? when others were ability to stay afloat? >> i think the reason -- what actually happened when they collapsed is why they collapsed. when lehman failed the government safety net split in two. the government bailed out bear stearns leaving the market to believe that the government would step in and rescue everyone. so when lehman failed that set off chaos in the market as far as what is the federal government's role going to be? >> i want you to respond to that neil irwin. >> the fundamental thing with lehman brothers unlike bear stearns and aig, it wasn't just having a short-term shortage of cash, it was insolvent. and at the time the government had no tools around to fill that gap.
later there was the tarp and other tools the government had. at the time of the lehman brothers failure, there wasn't much left in the arsenal. the question is could they have handled things differently back then? you know, there's plenty of things you could have run of how they might have done things differently. but you had a massive financial system that was overextended, that was short of cash, we were hitting the outer limits of the legal authority and really the political will to bail out financial institutions. >> what about the market expectations that abby was talking about? >> you go to europe, and they are still very critical of the american authorities for not doing what they needed to rescue lehman brothers. the american authorities would say we didn't have any legal tools. but lehman was the leading cause of the crisis, but the financial sector relied too much on borrowed money. >> how did the banking sector get to that point? >> the financial crisis, i think was driven by a housing bubble that was fuelled by low interest rates for a long period of time. it was driven by the federal government's own housing policies, and a lot of bad actors like country wide who icentivised unsuspecting people to take loans they wouldn't afford and couldn't pay back. then credit rating agencies gave a good housekeeping stamp of approval on all of these bad loans, and there we got ours in the full blown crisis. some of these firms were set to go down as soon as there was any drop in housing prices or any sign of trouble. >> david, i want a brief response from you on this. was this foreseeable? >> well, many did foresee it, when you saw the valuations of housing through 2003, 2004, 2005, there were economists who did see this was an unsustainable run-up. and when we learned more about the things that added up to the increase in derivatives exposure, that this was going to be a crisis, and let's not forget the amounts of fraud. fraudulent appraisals, fraudulent sellings of mortgage-backed securities, without giving people the underlying information of the bad loans that were backing them. lehman brothers, the report that was done by an independent study showed that there -- they were just rife with accounting fraud. and i believe there was a report that came out that of the 65 people at lehman brothers who knew about these fraudulent activities, 47 of them are back working in the banking sector. >> we'll talk more about that
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>> some footsteps to follow in. more on the website. check it out. all the details. get in touch with us on twitter and facebook. plenty more from me later, but that is the sport for now. >> thank you. stay with us on al jazeera. another full bulletin of news is ahead with julie mcdonald, who will be in london for us. for now, goodbye. on august 20th, al jazeera america introduced a new voice in journalism. >> good evening everyone, welcome to al jazeera. >> usa today says: >> ...writes the columbia journalism review. and the daily beast says: >> quality journalists once again on the air is a beautiful thing to behold.
>> al jazeera america, there's more to it. what happens when social media uncovers unheard, fascinating news stories? it drives discussion across america. share your story on tv and online. welcome back to "inside story." we're talking about the lessons learned from the lehman brothers collapse and the wall street crisis. we have our panel with us. we left off with this question of the bankers who may have been at fall in this crisis, being back on the job. neil talk us to about punishment and accountability. >> what we haven't seen since 2008 is a sustained prosecution on a criminal level, anyway of the ceos, the ex executives, the bankers who packaged a lot of these bad loan s, and ran the companies that took all of these risks. there are some exceptions. the ceo of countrywide who has civil charges that got settled, but not a lot of people in handcuffs. so the question is why? is this a case of prosecutors being too timid and not extracting judgment, vengeance or is it matter of it's very hard to prove a case like this in america. so far we have seen no evidence that the prosecute verse those cases ready to go .
>> what is your response to that? there been huge sentences, or was everybody playing by a new set of rules. >> giving huge sentences to any of the executives would have been red meat to anyone in office. i think it was difficult to prove. but i would add that now we're seeing with jpmorgan chase, we're seeing criminal charges being applied there. one can't be punished for making bad decisions, necessarily, whether or not the $6 billion was a -- >> the london whale, more than $6 billion lost in bad trades from jpmorgan chase. but david does that go far enough? we're anticipating a settlement about $700 million. weigh in on this? >> that doesn't go far enough. that is probably tax deductible money. i do think there should have been prosecutions. there were avenues that the justice department could have made. they tried to make a case against bear stearns traders, a case in which they used half of email to prove their case. i think they took the wrong lesson for that, not that it was just a really bad case to make, that was done incompetently by the justice department, but that these cases aren't worth making and you can't find krcriminal activity. just as you look at the sarbanes oxley law, and that's punishable in the statute by -- by jail time, you would have to say that most every banking ceo in america violated that statute. so i -- i think there were plenty of avenues that you could have taken to go up the ladder, especially when you have mass forgery. you have foreclosure proceedings where millions of false documents were put into the nation's courts and that basically ended up with a slap on the wrist. >> i want to talk about regulations, crime and punishment. but kneel, dodd-frank. tell us about what the law has actually done and whether it has come with a real set of teeth behind it. >> it is a big law. it does a lot of different things. for me some of the more important parts are -- are a new set of authorities that allow the federal reserve to regulate any financial institution that could create risks for the broader system. you had these very large companies who really were not overseen in a methodical way by the government at all. at the same time they were creating these massive risks for the economy. that's one thing that dodd frank does a pretty good job of taking care of. making sure that people don't
slip through the cracks the way they did in 2008. that said, did dodd-frank do enough to prevent these kinds of risks from building again? i think that's -- the jury is still very much out. >> and only a third of the rules of dodd-frank have actually been written so far? >> that's correct. and the ones that have been written in many cases have deviated from the legislative intent. one would example would be derivatives regulation, where the commodities future trading commission wanted to be regulated in the u.s., but were traded overseas, and after basically stepping in by the treasury secretary, they pulled back on that. and according to a report by bloomberg, as a result only about 20% of the derivatives market is under the -- >> decode that a little bit for us? >> sure. that would be incredibly significant since derivatives were incredibly important. the london whale, that would be out of the reach of the oversight of the commodities oversight trading commission, and the derivatives in dodd-frank. so that's just an example how the law is written, but the ones that have gone into place have been notably weakened by a very concerted effort by the financial industry to get a second bite at the apple. >> abby you are not a fan of dodd-frank. why not? >> we're about a trillion dollars short in tending than where we would otherwise expect to bein the recovery. by 2015, gdp growth will be 3% slower than it would otherwise been without the dodd-frank act. and regular consumers have noticed that free checking as all but disappeared and fees have gone up. and that's because congress cannot just shut their eyes and pretend everybody will go on as usual, because it hasn't. >> we have to take a break.
♪ we're talking about the wall street crisis of five years ago, and where we have come since then. our panel is still with us. i just have to ask you abby, what regulation would you want to see in place? what needed to be done? because it also sounds like you are not happy with what happened five years ago? >> right. i don't think dodd-frank gets us any closer. it leaves a lot of big issues on the table. >> so what needs to happen? >> i think we need to drive through the steak of the heart of allowing any company of any size to be able to fail. so a bank or non-bank cannot go bankrupt without government support, and if that doesn't work then going back to the drawing board and turning to bankruptcy or another method. today? >> absolutely. >> neil, how about you? >> when the next crisis happens, it will be some new thing. i think the banks have a lot more capital and a lot less leverage in the system. the shadow banking, different forms of securitized lending, but i do think we have a more stable financial system. >> shadow banking system why is that significant? >> this was the more of the 2008 crisis, and the lead addressed. money market mutual funds there was a run on those in '08. there hasn't been the kind of scale and oversight you might
expect to see to make that system more stable. >> david are we protected from another crisis in banking like we saw five years ago? >> i think you see a little bit more capital requirements, although that is risk weighted so there are some accounting games played there, largely i think the system has been restored rather than reformed and when you have complex legislation like dodd-frank, that provides a great opportunity for the banking industry to use the political power they gain by virtue of their size, and, you know, get into the granular little words of the law and the language of the law and change it to their benefit. i think we need bigger, dumber rules, things like perhaps a cap on bank size or very large increases in capital requirements so banks can pay for their own losses and a real firewall between investment banking and deposit banking. >> what would it take for americans to be more trusting of the banking system, david? >> i think some of the same things that we see happen almost on a daily basis have to stop happening. there is a situation out here in los angeles where a couple got a knock on their door and said their house was sold out from under them, even though they never missed a payment on their mortgage. another thing that was tried to have been addressed in dodd-frank, but servicers are finding ways around it. when you sign a bunch of settlements and say we have ended this conduct, and it can't happen again, if the banks go back to the exact same conduct, there will be an extreme lack of trust there. >> all right. i have to cut you off there. >> we need talking points and action from the administration as far as how do they view the financial administration going forward, instead we have thousands of pages of regulation and no idea where we're going next. >> well thank you all for joining us today. that's all for us. you can log on to our facebook page or send us your thoughts on twitter. thanks for watching. ♪
♪ ♪ >> welcome to al jazerra. i am stephanie sy. here are your headlines. the navy is taking a close look at how it po protects its base bases and screens worses, the shooter used his secretary level pass to get in the navy yard where he killed 12 people. he complained that he had been hearing voices. military officials say he had been treated for a series of mental problems. lawyers not north carolina police officer accused of shooting and killing an after can american man who was trying to get help after a car accident say the officer was justified. randle carrick is charged with